Improved survival in very shortsmall bowel of infancy with use of long-term parenteral nutrition

Author(s): Dorney SF, Ament ME, Berquist WE, Vargas JH, Hassall E


Thirteen children with very short small bowel (less than or equal to 38 cm jejunoileum) beginning in the first month of life were enrolled in a home parenteral nutrition program between 1977 and 1984. Their survival is compared with the collective reported experience with short bowel syndrome before 1972: nine (69%) of 13 have survived, compared with seven (23%) of 30 previously. Five discontinued parenteral nutrition after periods of 4 to 32 months of therapy, and have normal growth and development. Two still receive partial (50% and 60%) parenteral nutrition after 9 and 55 months, respectively, and two still receive total parenteral nutrition after 66 and 68 months of therapy, respectively; all four infants have grown normally, and three are developmentally normal. In the combined categories of 15 to 38 cm jejunoileum without the ileocecal valve and less than 15 cm jejunoileum with and without the ileocecal valve, seven (70%) of 10 have survived, compared with none (0%) of 16 before 1972; three of these discontinued parenteral nutrition. Ultimate survival with normal growth without parenteral nutrition is now possible with as little as 11 cm jejunoileum with an intact ileocecal valve and as little as 25 cm jejunoileum without an ileocecal valve.

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